Israel rejects with repugnance the EU Presidency Statement which attempts to equate the unfortunate incident in Rafah to the abhorrent murder of Tali Hatuel and her four daughters by Palestinian terrorists.

Ireland’s Ambassador to Israel, Patrick Hennessy, was summoned today (20 May) to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting with the Deputy Director General for Western Europe, Mr. Ran Curiel.

At the meeting the following points were conveyed:

Israel rejects with repugnance the Presidency Statement issued by the Irish Presidency of the EU which attempts to equate the unfortunate incident in Rafah yesterday to the recent abhorrent murder, at the hands of Palestinian terrorists, of Tali Hatuel, who was eight months pregnant, and her four little daughters.

Furthermore, Israel rejects any hint of accusation that IDF soldiers intentionally fired at children. The IDF always makes a supreme effort to protect the civilian population which, regretfully, is sometimes harmed in the course of the fighting against terrorist elements who hide among civilians and seek shelter in their houses.

We would expect the Presidency, which is supposed to represent all of the states in the European Union, to be wary of depending on biased and fallacious information. In fact, other senior officials in Europe have exercised caution in their statements pending the clarification of the facts.

Criticism has its place, but it can cross the line of legitimacy when it spills over into harsh rhetoric, particularly when it presumes to judge the culture and morality of the State of Israel and its armed forces.

The accusatory, even slanderous statements made recently by the Irish Presidency are unacceptable.